OVERVIEWOver the body of his work, Soren Kierkegaard demonstrates a debt to a tradition of Greek philosophy that has to do with not just pursuing idle, abstract truths in isolation from everyday life. Instead, the aimof philosophy “‘is to explore one’s own temperament,’ while ‘at the same time to attempt to discover the truth’.”1Kierkegaardcriticizes, as such, a life of mere (philosophical) scholarshipthat is compartmentalized (department-alized?) and divorced from the substance ofone’slife.In that sense, Kierkegaardchampionsthe Socratic(and Abrahamic)ideal:the pursuit of wisdom—the so-called “examined life”—authenticated in the individual,even at the expense of one’s life on earth.Your task is to make the case for the relevance or irrelevanceof Kierkegaard’s thought, as Johannes de silentiorepresents it in Fear and Trembling, for how to live. Within that framework, there are two aspects youmightconsider addressing. On the one hand, the issueisabout the ways in which the text aims to avoid narrowlycompartmentalizingabstract issues fromquestions ofhow to live (think: “pure” metaphysics): Does that seem to be hisaim? How successful is heat that?Are purely abstract questions “irrelevant”?On the other hand, the issueis about what aspects of the text, either in form or content, bear relevance to life now.You maychoose to focusonone or both of those angles, bearing in mind that to write an effective essay, you need to develop(1)a thoughtful, accurate reading of the text, (2)an original argument with clear premises,and(3) considerationfor at least one counterargument. The biggest mistake an essay can make, apart from not responding to the prompt,is to treat the text with uncharitable superficiality. You have to earn the right to dismisssomeone else’s words. At the same time, you aren’t expected or required to find value in the ruminationsof Johannes de silentio, but reject the textwholesaleonly with the upmost care.You mayalsoconsider qualifications on your thesis in terms of what it means for something tobe “relevant”and what(or whose?) life we’re talking about.Lastly, given theprompt, I advise against too firm a distinction between interpretive analysis of the text and digressions into“personal opinion.” The thesis you defend is your opinion—no need to make that explicit.Thecore of any philosophy paper is an argument(insome shape or form): make one.1Lippitt, John, George Pattison, and Rick Anthony Furtak. “Kierkegaard and Greek Philosophy.”In The Oxford Handbook of Kierkegaard. : Oxford University Press, 2013-01-01. https://www-oxfordhandbooks-com.ezproxy-eres.up.edu/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199601301.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199601301-e-8.
Introduction to Philosophy-Spring2020-Essay 2II.REQUIRED ELEMENTS•An Argument: There should bea clear argument, built around premisesthat logically lead tothe thesis.Explain and defend the premises carefullyand support your claims with reasoning and evidence grounded in the texts.Consider counterargumentsto your line of reasoning.•Primary Sources: The only sources you need toconsult are primary sources from the assigned course readings, including notes within the texts and any secondary material I have provided.•Audience: Your audience is not me; it’s any thoughtful, intelligent reader who may come across your paper. Provide adequate context.III.FORMATTING•1500words•Due online via Teams on Thursday30April, 10:00AM(.docx or .pdfonly)•For issues of style (grammar, references, etc.), follow The Chicago Manual of Style or MLA•Typed: single-spaced header; double-spaced body paragraphs; print double-sided, 1” margins, 10-12 pt. font(of your choosing but choose wisely)•Number pages starting on page 2•Titles: center-align; bold (if typed); include space between header and first body paragraph; be original and descriptive•Headings, titles, and first paragraph should like exactly like this (including the spacing)
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